At the midpoint of the Ram Slam T20 Challenge the Highveld Lions find themselves just off the pace in the race for a spot in the play-offs.
They’ll be looking to ignite the second half of their campaign when they welcome the Dolphins to the Wanderers this afternoon.
The Johannesburg franchise has the luxury of four home games, split between Wanderers and Potchefstroom, in the run up to the knockout stage and coach Geoff Toyana feels it is vital that his side use the opportunity.
“It is crucial. If we win three of the four at home I think we’ll be close to that playoff position so it is key for us that we keep these youngsters in tune in terms of this competition. It’s key that we play well at home,” Toyana said.
The squad was buoyed by an impressive victory over the Knights last time out when their bowlers, with the spin du0 of Eddie Leie and Aaron Phangiso leading the way, defended a modest total.
“We went to the Knights on a difficult wicket and did very well to win. We needed that,” Toyana, who has opted to blood a number of young players during this competition, said.
“Halfway I really think these kids have been competitive. We always knew that we are playing a young team and it’s a team in transition. I’ve been happy with the energy and how things are being done.”
While the bowlers have played their part during the campaign, Toyana is hoping that the batting unit can come to the party and contribute during the last few weeks of the tournament.
“Where we are now I’m quite happy but I would like our batsmen to take more responsibility especially in the period between overs eight and 14. I think that’s where we’ve gone wrong a little bit,” Toyana said.
“It’s a big game for us on Sunday against the Dolphins and we know what we need to do. We can’ afford to have anymore mishaps if we want to be in the play-offs,” he added of tomorrow’s fixture.
In today’s other game, the Knights will travel to Paarl looking to drag themselves from the bottom of the table when they take on the Cape Cobras.